Sausage And Mash Cafe.

A Memory of Southend-on-Sea.

I remember the sausage and mash cafe almost opposite to where this photo was taken at the bottom of Pier Hill. It was called 'The Old Sausage Shop' and I sometimes had lunch there while working at a nearby amusement arcade. It wasn't the best of places to eat I'm afraid!. The sausages came from big tin cans and heated in hot water. These were served with soggy onions and very salty mashed potatoes!. I can remember the tiled interior and the old tubular tables and chairs. I would think that the shop had changed hardly at all since the 1920's or even earlier.
The amusement arcade that I worked in was called 'Olympia'. Inside was a dodgem car track, a ghost train and a life size moving waxworks called 'Torture Through The Ages' - gruesome!. The arcade is now called 'Mr B's' or similar, but the original name is still clearly visible in the cementwork high on the front of the builing.

Added 04 November 2011


Comments & Feedback

Dear Colin, I feel obliged to point out here that your comments regarding 'The Old Sausage Shop' are TOTALLY INCORRECT!
My Great Grandfather came over from Italy with his family in the 1800's and opened restaurants in Southend and London. When my Great Grandfather bought the premises (1, Marine Parade) all those years ago it was used as the stables for the horses that drew the carriages along Southend Pier.
NEVER were sausages were always FRIED...never tinned and cooked in brine as you mistakenly point out. The onions were also fried and the smell used to permeate all the way up Pier Hill to entice customers walking down the High Street..usually from the train station on their holidays.
In the late 60's it was recorded that 'The Old Sausage Shop' purchased more sausages than any other consumers in the UK apart from the Armed Forces.
The mashed potatoes were cooked in our kitchen upstairs and served from the bain mari (?) in the window. NO SALT was added...that was left to the customers!
At least you did get something right though, the floor was marble mosaic, built by Italians, and the walls were you so correctly said!
The tables were cast iron with marble tops...worth a fortune today!

I am the last of my family (Zanchi on my father's side) the 4th generation.

Over 160 years trading in Southend...the oldest surviving local business in the 70's.
The shop is long closed now sadly, but would be a little goldmine if it was up and running today.

PLEASE Mr Smyth, get your facts never know who might be reading your blurb.

Mike Manning (would have been Mike Zanchi had it not been for the world wars. My grandfather was in the British Army and my dad in the RAF. Both proud to fight for the country.
Just wanted to reach out and say 'Hi' as we are Southend Zanchi's... My Dad, Peter Zanchi (cc'd) , born in '52, has lived there his whole life as did his Dad, also Peter Zanchi.

From what I understand, and my Dad would be better placed to comment, the families lost touch after WW2, the name change and division of the cafe as family history always has us involved in the cafe before the war.

Feel free to contact us or just ignore - no pressure. I hope all is well in Somerset in the current climate, Southend is certainly suffering at the moment

Stuart Zanchi (b 1976)
Peter Zanchi (b 1952)


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